For good reason, Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations. With its picturesque canals, world-class museums, and vibrant nightlife, the city has something to offer everyone.
But if you want to avoid the tourist traps and experience Amsterdam calmly, here are ten must-do activities:
1. Explore the canal belt: Amsterdam’s UNESCO-listed canal belt is a must-see for any visitor. You can explore the canals on foot, by bike, or by boat.
Tip: Rent a boat in advance, especially during the summer months.
2. Visit the Anne Frank House: This moving museum tells the story of Anne Frank and her family, who hid from the Nazis during World War II.
Tip: Book your tickets in advance to avoid long lines.
3. Discover the Van Gogh Museum: This world-renowned museum houses the most extensive collection of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings.
Tip: Visit early in the morning or on weekdays to avoid the crowds.
4. Experience the Rijksmuseum: The Netherlands’ national museum showcases Dutch art and artifacts from the Middle Ages to today.
Tip: Download the free museum app to learn more about the collection and exhibitions.
5. Visit the NDSM Wharf
The NDSM Wharf is a former shipyard and industrial area transformed into a vibrant cultural hub. It is located on the north bank of the IJ River, about a 10-minute ferry ride from Amsterdam Central Station.
The NDSM Wharf is home to various art galleries, studios, workshops, restaurants, bars, and cafes. It is also a popular spot for festivals and events. One of the things that makes the NDSM Wharf so unique is its eclectic atmosphere.
6. Explore the Begijnhof
The Begijnhof is a hidden gem in the heart of Amsterdam. It is a walled courtyard that is home to a group of historic houses and a chapel. The Begijnhof was founded in the 14th century as a community for Beguines, who were religious women who lived together but did not take vows. Today, the Begijnhof is a quiet and peaceful oasis in the bustling city. It is a great place to relax and escape the crowds.
7. Bike like a local: Amsterdam is a bicycle-friendly city, with more bikes than people! Renting a bike is a great way to get around and see the sights.
Tip: Follow the rules of the road and give way to pedestrians.
8. Try local cuisine: Amsterdam has a diverse culinary scene, with restaurants serving everything from traditional Dutch dishes to international fare. Be sure to try local favorites like stroopwafels, poffertjes, and bitterballen.
Tip: Visit a brown cafe for a truly authentic Dutch dining experience. These traditional cafes are known for their cozy atmosphere and hearty food.
9. Visit less crowded attractions: If you want to avoid the crowds, check out some of Amsterdam’s lesser-known attractions, such as the National Monument, the Begijnhof, and the NEMO Science Museum.
Tip: Visit the NEMO Science Museum with children for a fun and educational experience.
10. Visit the museums early: Many of Amsterdam’s museums open at 9:00 AM. If you want to beat the crowds, visit early in the morning.
Following these tips, you can experience Amsterdam without stressing and make the most of your trip!